5 Reasons Why You Should Meditate Before a Triathlon

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Just eight percent of US adults meditate, according to a 2012 National Health Interview Survey, even though the beneficial effects of meditation have long been proven by research.

Maybe it’s a problem of perception.

Even today, many people associate meditation with New Age spirituality and alternative therapies. But meditation's not just for hippies. The practice has benefits for serious athletes, too. In fact, research shows that meditation reduces stress, induces relaxation and boosts the cardiovascular system — making it especially beneficial just before a triathlon.



  1. Improved Breathing Meditation promotes better breathing. Even meditating for just a few minutes before a big race can have profound benefits and make it easier to run just that little bit faster.

    Why is better breathing so important in sports performance? Breathing strengthens your core — your abs and intestinal muscles — and relieves body aches and pains. As a result, you feel stronger and better prepared to win the race. Meditation before a triathlon can also supplement — and even enhance — your pre-race warm-up and stretch routine.

    Meditation doesn't have to take long. In fact, you can do it every day for five minutes just before your next training session or race. It might take some time to get used to, but with practice, you can improve your breathing significantly.

  2. Improved Concentration Meditation can also have a positive influence on your mental health. Mindfulness — a mental state where you become more aware of your surroundings — helps relieve anxiety and stress, and could turbocharge your well-being in the process.

    Again, why is this important for a triathlon? Lowering your stress levels can improve your concentration, helping you to focus on your training and the race at hand. Plus, you can free your mind from negative thoughts and focus on being the best you can be.

    If you still have doubts about meditation, give it a try. You could soon notice a massive drop in your stress levels and improve your mental health. Doing it just before a race — say about half-an-hour to an hour before — is a great idea. You can do it before training sessions, too.

  3. Improved Sleep Quality Sleep is important if you're an athlete. Really important. After strenuous training, your body needs to rest. Moreover, a bad night's sleep can really impact your next race, and just leave you feeling tired and unfocused when on the track.

    That's where meditation comes in. Research shows the practice can improve your sleep quality. After improving your sleep over a period of time, you may notice you’re reaching personal bests in endurance and completing laps in your fastest times ever.

    If you want better sleep, try meditating just before bed. This will help to calm your mind and relax your body. Lighting a scented candle might help you to meditate, but avoid distraction. The more you give to meditation, the more results you will get from it.

  4. Controlling Your Emotions Sometimes, it's your emotions that are keeping you from becoming a better athlete. You might have trained for months and got your body in peak condition. Still, something's holding you back — your own fear of failure.

    Meditation can help you control your emotions, which could benefit your training and help you succeed. If you constantly dwell on the past or the negative, taking a few minutes every day to meditate could really help you. By releasing the negative past and focusing on the healthy present, you might become a more confident person both on the racetrack and in everyday life.

    If you're new to meditation and want to control your emotions, it's best to start slow. Choose a quiet place where you can relax and then focus on your breathing, making sure you block out any distractions. With some practice, you will become more effective at meditation and improve your emotional state. Soon you will incorporate meditation into your pre-race routine.

  5. Decreased Recovery Time As an athlete, you know how important recovery is. Your muscles recover when you rest and your body recuperates after a long day of training. Meditation can help you with the recovery process.

    According to research from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Health, people who practice meditation are less likely to suffer from acute respiratory infections — something that could slow down your training. You can even prevent some of the harmful effects of the common cold.

    If you want to reduce the effects of overtraining, decrease recovery time and make sure your body rests properly after training, try meditation. You could notice results in your recovery time in just a few weeks.



AUTHOR BIO:

Freelance writer Caylin White meditates often. She writes regularly for StockHax, an investment blog full of trading strategies, tips and news.

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date: June 23, 2017

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